Minister Donohoe Needs to Stop Spinning and Start Talking – Cullinane
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform David Cullinane has criticised the Government’s announcement of yet another review on Lansdowne Road, saying that everyone knows new talks are needed.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“It is clear that today’s announcement by Minister Donohoe is about getting the Government and Fianna Fáil over the Christmas and into the New Year.
“The review outlined by the minister this afternoon will not address any of the substantive issues and is, at best, a stalling tactic.
“The timing and substance of the announcement has more to do with the call for union ballots on strike action than engaging with the issues that underpin the stress, anxiety and frustration felt by public sector workers who along with private sector workers have carried the can for the bailout of Fianna Fáil's banker and developer friends.
“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are incapable of making a decision on anything that doesn't involve kicking the can down the road.
“Sinn Féin launched a document two weeks ago that set out a solid and secure framework for addressing public sector pay issues.
“Any new pay agreement must set out a road-map for the unwinding of FEMPI legislation. It must tackle in a cogent and coherent way the inequality created by FEMPI.
“The Lansdowne Road Agreement disproportionately benefited those over €65,000, giving full restoration of the cuts in pay imposed as part of the 2013 Haddington Road Agreement.
“As those under €65,000 saw minimal pay restoration, they have the greater outstanding claim in terms of pay justice and should be given first priority in any new pay agreement.
“A commitment to equal pay for equal work should begin in 2017 with the restoration of certain allowances for post-2011 nurses, doctors, teachers and gardaí.
“Sinn Féin believes that the public sector needs to return to a single-tier pay system and that a new agreement should achieve equal pay for equal work.
“This should be listed as a priority for the next budget.
“There is a need for equal pay for equal work and a road-map for the fair and timely unwinding of FEMPI with an emphasis on low to middle income workers.
“These two objectives, we believe, would take the heat out of the situation and would go towards achieving a settlement that all sides could see as reasonable.”